Taxpayers will foot cost of timber industry boondoggle

By JIM DIPESO, REP Policy Director

AN HISTORICAL DOCUMENT: Letter to the editor of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, June 20, 2003


The Bush administration has proposed exempting the Tongass National Forest from a 2001 federal rule protecting roadless areas. Taxpayers, hang on to your wallets, because the Tongass timber gravy train is chugging your way.

Every year, the taxpayer subsidy for Tongass timber sales totals an average of $34 million. Opening Tongass roadless areas to cutting will result in more subsidies for money losing timber sales. But the fun for the taxpayers doesn’t end there. Logging roads punched into virgin forest will become a federal liability, adding to a Forest Service roads maintenance backlog that already exceeds $8 billion.

At a time of $400 billion annual deficits, the taxpayers cannot afford the timber industry’s socialist paradise on the Tongass National Forest. Protecting the Tongass roadless areas protects our pocketbooks from more timber boondoggles.